Friday, February 5, 2016

The Anvil

This painting by Ian Huebert, which hangs above our home fireplace, pretty well sums up how we have felt this last month, and for that matter, this last five years — toting a heavy anvil across a frozen pond. During the "downturn" Electric Works, our fine art photography and printing business, suffered the ravaging of our neighborhood real-estate by "start ups" and fancy condos, and the decimation of the SF art scene by lofty rents, not to mention business drying up like spit on a hot iron, also, not to also mention, cumbersome and expensive audits by the City of SF and the Labor Department (successfully concluded in our favor). Cool Don't Live Here No More written by our upstairs neighbor Tony Robles says, "SF is no longer a city it's an app." But truly, we continued to do what we started out to do—live by the principals of The Land of Yes.—to provide printing and consulting services to artists at any career level regardless of marketplace clout. True, our projects have ended up at Yale, The Smithsonian, the di Rosa Preserve, etc, etc. and we admire the hierarchy of cream rising. But, the hundreds of artists who crave the dialogue that comes from collaboration and have been shut out by economic "curation" needed a place to land. For 20 years we tiptoed across the thin ice of economic survival. And what did we learn? Stay tuned to this blog as we roll out the fuller history of "THE LAND OF YES." 

We had a February 2nd deadline to vacate if we were to retain our security deposit. It was a monumental marathon of effort. But we did it, we made it to the other shore and it will be free skating from now on—for Judith and Richard free skating is spelled — "retirement." Noah and Kris together will be taking over the Electric Works print and photo studio and will be offering upbeat energy and excellent service. We are excited that Kris will be returning to the helm of the printmaking service after a 3-year family leave. And we will be cashing in on our "Golden Years."

They asked for "broom clean."
Noah takes a parting shot.

All the while during our time at Electric Works our beach plastic project has been a welcome "hobby." Trips to Kehoe Beach the highlight respite from our hectic work lives in San Francisco. But now we intend to take things at a different pace. With what we have been able to accomplish with little to no promotion, makes us wonder what will happen when with get going with some bits of PR.

With exhibitions in Hong Kong, Cairo, Georgia, (USA) Georgia, (Republic of...) to name a few, 2015 was an exciting international year for And we are full steam ahead in 2016. We continue to be active bloggers about our adventures on and off the beach and have revved up a new blog for our musing about life at Rancho D, as we call our test garden and home. What can the perIpatetic artist's mind do with a little soil, water, sunlight and germ plasm? We are increasingly intrigued with the alchemy of fermentation and distillation.

"Gyre: The Plastic Ocean" now at the San Jose State University Thompson Gallery, February 2 - March 25, 2016 organized by the Anchorage Museum traveled to The David J. Spencer CDC Museum in association with the Smithsonian Institution and the USC Fisher Museum of Art. We are happy that our work is contributing to the important message about the gyres and is being presented in conjunction with such an esteemed group of international artists.

Needless to say, as we move into our "retirement" it does seem that we have plenty to keep us busy. It may not exactly sound like it but we are really interested in some relaxing time off. And did we say, digging the dirt, getting our garden in? Git them 'taters and onions in the ground. Come on kids, it's time for a trip to the beach and an overnight at Rancho D.